Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said Thursday that the city will dismantle and remove monument to Confederate soldiers in Garfield Park.
The monument is dedicated to Confederate soldiers who died at a Union prison camp in Indianapolis during the Civil War. It was moved to the park nearly a century ago from its original location at Greenlawn Cemetery following efforts by public officials, active in the KKK, who wanted to “make the monument more visible to the public.”
“Our streets are filled with voices of anger and anguish, testament to centuries of racism directed at Black Americans,” Hogsett said in a statement. “We must name these instances of discrimination and never forget our past – but we should not honor them. Whatever original purpose this grave marker might once have had, for far too long it has served as nothing more than a painful reminder of our state’s horrific embrace of the Ku Klux Klan a century ago."
Hogsett said the city has urged that the grave monument be moved to a museum, rather than displayed in the city park, but no organization has assumed the responsibility.
"Time is up, and this grave marker will come down,” Hogsett said.
City officials expect the cost of the project to range from $50,000 to $100,000.
The grave monument was commissioned in 1912 in Greenlawn Cemetery to commemorate Confederate prisoners of war who died while imprisoned at Camp Morton in Indianapolis. It was moved to Garfield Park in 1928. In 2017, the Indianapolis Parks Board passed a resolution to remove the monument once funding was secured.